Kittens found with severe burns

posted on Friday, May 29, 2020 in News


UPDATE (05/29/2020, 9:50 a.m.)

In partnership with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved with the kittens that were burnt.  Anyone with information in this case should contact Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa at 515-223-1400 or submit the tips online at

The ARL would like to extend a huge thank you to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for utilizing this reward in their investigation. We hope it will help lead to a quick resolution in this case.

Hans and Greta underwent surgery yesterday and are recovering in the ARL’s Miracle Medical Ward under the close supervision of our veterinary team.

ORIGINAL POST (05/28/2020, 10:36 a.m.)

It’s been a truly horrific week of animal abuse in Des Moines: 2 dogs were starved to death by their owner, a cat survived a stabbing and drowning attempt by a woman who lived in the home, and now this: a box of 9 kittens set on fire with two suffering severe injuries and the others escaping with singed fur and ash.

We can’t even imagine the terror and pain they experienced. Our hearts ache just looking at them.

They need your help now.


Thankfully, Polk County Animal Control Officers were able to rescue the scared and injured 4-6-week-old kittens over multiple days. They brought the unharmed kittens to the ARL and the injured kittens to an after-hours emergency vet clinic. The two 4-week-olds with severe injuries arrived at the ARL’s Miracle Medical Ward yesterday and are receiving pain medications, antibiotics, burn cream, and eye medication to manage their pain and treat their burns.

The two kittens, who we named Greta and Hans, are receiving critical surgery today to remove the dead tissue from their burns, make them more comfortable, and help their wounds heal. They are suffering from burns over much of their bodies, including all four paws and their ears, noses and lips. Greta is suffering from the most severe and extensive burns. She is lucky to have made it out when she did.

Greta and Hans will remain under the care of our three staff veterinarians, and their healing is expected to take months. We don’t know yet if they will need additional surgeries or procedures as they recover, but we do know that with your support, they will never again experience the horror they endured.

Your one-time donation to our Miracle Medical Fund today will help these fragile kittens and others in need of critical care right now, and your monthly donation will help them and countless others who will arrive at our doors needing lifesaving care.

Sadly, the need is high. We’ve been seeing more and more pets arrive at the ARL with severe injuries and nowhere else to turn. Your donation is needed now more than ever.

Please give now to heal injured pets. To give them hope. To make miracles happen.

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